Monday, May 20th, 2013
I am still here! and very much alive! If you haven’t checked-up on me through facebook I have been pouring most of my time these last 2 weeks with my kids. You see it all started on Mothers Day when Joey fell off his scooter and cut/bruised up his face, BIG SCARE! (thankfully nothing broken). Isabella also within those days was having such a difficult time sleeping and eating. We then discovered she had an ear/throat infection and pink eye! After giving her antibiotics she had an allergic reaction to it. Poor baby was definitely not in the mood for anything and wanted nothing but to be held. Joey and Luna were believe it or not “hungry” for some attention. I had to drop what I was doing to focus on what is more important. My kids. After endless days and sleepless nights I did manage to slip in a pedicure, which believe it or not felt great! Even if it was just for an hour alone… I needed that time to myself. My workflow is still not set straight and still figuring this part out that will work out best for me and my family.
Wednesday, May 8th, 2013
Oh the kale chip! Kale chips to me are so freakin good. The only problem with store bought kale chips are that they are expensive! The worst part is that I can eat the whole package in a one sitting. So, I decided to try to make some at home and man did they turn out delicious. If you are a fan of kale chips, these are addicting.
The only downside to these is that they are best eaten the day they are made. For some reason they loose their crisp the next day, and I am trying to figure out a way to keep the “crispyness.” But! if you love kale chips as much as I do you will not have that problem..lol.
Home-made Cheesy Sun-dried Tomato Kale-chips:
- 1 large bunch of kale, stems discarded & leaves ripped off
- 1/2 cup organic sun-dried tomatoes ( soaked in water for at least 1 hour)
- 1 cup raw cashews (soaked in water for at least 2 hours)
- 2 large garlic cloves
- 4 tbsp. fresh basil
- 3/4 cup of olive oil
- 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 2 tbsp. nutritional yeast
- 3/4 tsp salt
After soaking both tomatoes and cashews drain and rinse. In a food processor, add in all ingredients and process until smooth. Wash the kale leaves and tear the kale into pieces, discarding leaves. Dry leaves in a salad spinner (make sure to do this step so sauce can stick to the kale). Place greens in a large bowl then pour cheese sauce on top and stir until all is coated. Season with salt to taste. Spread onto baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes on 250 degrees or until super crispy.
*TIP: Make sure that your kale leaves are really dry before coating with sauce!
Thursday, May 2nd, 2013
Man! is April really over? Holy-cow! It really did fly right over me… where does the time go? I guess you can say I was kept busy in April. Too much goes on all at once at our household and I have yet to find a really good system that works well for everyone when it comes to being on schedule/track with all of the daily routines. I usually do plan out my days but, sometimes I do fall short on time on somedays. But hey, thats life and I know I shouldn’t stress it. April was also weird to all of us with all of the crazy nature weather. One day we had almost 90 degree weather, and I am pretty sure everyone busted out in their shorts and sandals’s. The next day back to almost 50 degrees…crazy huh? And the pollen? It hit me by far the most this year. Almost everyone at home got affected by it and as for me I felt and looked like a walking zombie. Terrible.
What else happened in April?
- Celebrated Luna’s 4th birthday (such a big girl now)
- Took head-shots and family portraits of a local friend photographer
- Tried Octopus and fried shark! (not bad at all)
- Officially started making my own baby-food – Baby Breeza is such a time-saver
- More of behind-the-scenes work
- Blogged at least 2-3 times a week
A little bonding before bedtime :: Origami is harder than I thought :: Isabella and I loving the Baby Breeza! :: Customers in training :: 1st swing ride! :: Smells like spring-time :: Can’t get enough of my chunky-butt :: Photos look so good in print. Why have them stored away in a desk? :: Must be nice to sleep in :: Birthday girl! :: Busted out the capri’s and sandals :: Mommy & me play-date :: 6am early good run :: Its not a home without these 3 :: Connection :: No more hibernating :: Little lady-bug :: In action :: Cheers to a new friendship :: Fascinated :: Origami skills :: Inspiration :: Veggie Lasagna :: Happy birthday dad :: Hi! :: She melts me even with yogurt on her face :: Much needed :: Shrimp w/bow-tie pasta & oven-dried tomatoes :: I heart him :: Starting the day off right w/cold remedies
What does May have in store for me?
Shooting more portrait sessions :: Continue re-branding project :: Major spring-cleaning :: Pool-time!
Wednesday, May 1st, 2013
I started meal planning almost 4 years ago after my daughter Luna was born, because there was no way I was going to be unprepared each day with a family of 4 (at the time). I have found that meal planning worked out so well with our family and it’s stuck ever since. That being said our system has gotten WAYYY easier and quicker each week. Yea… time is really tight when you have family with 3 kids. Less time during the week figuring out the meals of the week, quicker grocery shopping trips, essential for a less stressful week and last but not least some money saved by using coupons. Those are all win wins for me.
Monday, April 29th, 2013
I don’t know about all of you… but this girl has been dying from these pollen allergies. Like by far the worst ever. This weekend was filled with sniffs, mucus, coughs, tears, and itchy eyes. Not even kidding I look and feel like a walking-zombie. What makes it even worse is that its affecting my girls a little too. Sergio even commented that our home felt like a hospital with everyone around him being sick…lol. Lucky for him to not be affected. So, that is how my weekend went down… and I am done and over with this part of the season. Hopefully the pollen winds down soon so I can enjoy the spring with these kiddos
Thursday, April 25th, 2013
Its really amazing how times have changed and how social media has connected people on so many different levels. Take facebook as an example. It has allowed me to re-establish relationships with people I knew but have fallen in touch with and there are others who I have connected with that share that same interests and experiences as I do. With complete strangers that I never in my life I would have imagined! Vania was one of those “strangers” I met through facebook last summer and I am actually happy to call her my friend today. We connected instantly. One because, we were both photographers. Two because, she lived near my area and three because, we were both expecting baby girls
Yea! Instant connection!
A few weeks back she mentioned that she needed some new head-shots for her website, so I took up on that offer and we planned to shoot that same weekend in Georgetown. She also brought her family along with her and I just had to sneak them into a few shots as well. I mean why not? Vania and her little family are beautiful inside and out and so laid back and fun to spend time with that I would have been perfectly content to photograph them all day…
Monday, April 22nd, 2013
One of things I realized these past two weekends is that sadly my girls are truly “Daddy’s girls.” The girls and I have a great bond and we are like best friends but, when it comes to their dad there is something a little more special there. Now let me tell you, Sergio is a pretty awesome dad he is very supportive, playful and loving but , at the same time he is pretty tough when its comes to discipline (probably better than me) and shows them tough love when appropriate. When it comes to 3 kids its no easy task at all but, being a more tougher & loving role model seems harder as well. I honestly don’t know what it is with girls being more attached to their dads. But, then again for me growing up and presently I am much more attached to my father than my mother. Whats best of all is that Sergio illustrates so well to our kids the importance of affection by professing his love for me in front of them. I wouldn’t change him for anything in the world when it comes to being a daddy. I am sure Joey, Luna & Isabella wouldn’t either.
On another note, its a happy day because, it is one of my favorite days of the year – Earth Day! Every year around this time I try to evaluate our lifestyle and habits, recognizing what good things we are already doing and what areas could use some improvement. Our family is pretty good when it comes to helping the enviornment such as; recycling everything we can, drinking from reusable bottles, and reusing grocery/produce bags. We have also been focusing a lot is making as much food as we can from scratch, to cut down on waste and processing. This summer I plan to start canning so we can really stock up and rely more on home preserved food. Another goal is to cut down on the amount of energy we use around the house, like turning off the lights when its not necessary and unplugging all appliances when not in use.
Without a doubt, one of my biggest pet peeves is seeing people stocking up on huge cases of bottled water at the store. Why people? Buy a good usable bottle to fill it up again and again. We have a couple Camelbak water bottles at home and having them around encourages us to drink more water. That being said I will be giving one away and choosing a winner by random!!
To enter, leave a comment on THIS POST and tell me your best eco-friendly tip or goal! I will announce the winner on Wednesdays blog post!
Thursday, April 18th, 2013
My little Isabella is such a sweet baby and it is impossible to have a bad day with her. She makes me smile all day long and she gives me a joy just like Joey and Luna. This past month she has become so observant (and maybe a little nosy) and loves to watch what is going on around her and she will stare at people when we are out. She still loves playing with things she is not supposed to – remotes, cords and cell phones are her all time favorites. LOL. She can finally sit down well, crawl and pull herself up with a little bit of help. And ohhhh… loves to blow raspberries! My little lady-bug is growing too fast for me!! Every day with her brings something new and I realize how much I am blessed just by being able to hold, squeeze, kiss and love on her every morning and every night.
Can finally sit well w/out support
Weight: 16lbs 4oz.
Diaper: Size 3
Clothes: 9-12 months
Hair: Dark brown
Eye color: Blue
Wednesday, April 17th, 2013
Ever notice that when you exercise in the morning, you feel more alert and productive all day? Its no coincidence – research has showed that getting in a good workout jump starts your metabolism, makes you mentally sharper throughout the day and makes healthier eating decisions easier to make throughout the day.
I know its very hard for most of you to get out of our comfy bed at 5:30am, believe me I know! but, it can be done!!!
Here’s a couple of my tips to help you jump out of your dark bed:
1. Make sure you get at least 7-8 hours of sleep. The worst thing for an early morning workout is a night without sleep.
2. Place your alarm clock across the room, you’ll have no other choice but to get out of your bed.
3. Sleep in your workout clothes, except your shoes. Trust me this works!
4. Plan to meet a friend. Having a workout buddy is a great motivator! You’re less likely to back out if you know someone is waiting for you.
5. Make a music playlist! Music is a good motivator of mine. If you have a great playlist it can be enough to get you out of bed. Here are some I shared before
6. Set weekly goals and reward yourself! Do you want to exercise 4 mornings a week? Make a plan. When you accomplish your goals, reward yourself with new exercise gear, a day off on the weekend, a cocktail with friends, a cookie for lunch, whatever works for you!
7. Surround yourself with like-minded exercisers in your social media. Tell everyone about tomorrows workout plans. Tweet it, share it on Facebook, Instagram it. Knowing how many people are aware of your plans with the intention to ask you about it later makes it harder to hit the snooze button.
8. Just do it! Commit to it! Practice makes perfect. A workout doesn’t benefit anyone else but you! (View Full Post…)
Monday, April 15th, 2013
This past weekend was probably the 1st weekend this year that my family and I really got out to take advantage of the weather. I mean who didn’t? Everyone and there mom was out and about! The disadvantage was that the pollen is really starting to get a toll on me. :( The whole weekend I had to keep my glasses on since, my contact lenses irritate the heck out of my eyes this time of the year and you better believe it is not a good look. Whats worse is that I can’t take anything because, I am still nursing. Only 4 more months… almost there! (View Full Post…)
Wednesday, April 10th, 2013
Today I look at my little Luna and see the most beautiful brown headed, green eyed, smart, sweet and sassy girl! She has grown from a helpless infant to an ’I can do it’ toddler to the independent little treasure she is now, I have often held my breath, hoping I would know when to hold her hand and when to stand behind her with a little push.
When I look into her eyes, I see possibilities. She truly believe’s ANYTHING can happen.
Her spirit is amazing. It’s something I love because even when she is angry, she is still one of the sweetest little girls in the world. She does not hit. She may scream or shout, but if asked, she will take a deep breath and a break.
During this last year I have seen the most significant changes in her – more than walking, more than talking. I have seen the growth of her mind and of her heart. She is learning compassion and empathy. She is learning to give, to hurt, to be herself.
My sweet girl, I want her to always stay strong and know that she can be anything she wants to be. I love that she loves watching sports with her daddy, playing princesses with mommy, and reading books. I love that she loves learning and I so enjoy watching her while she plays and learns and grows! I want her to remember that she can do anything she sets her mind too! She is strong like her daddy but is creative like me. That might be my favorite thing about her. We color, we sing, we dance…those moments are precious to me.
No matter how many birthdays she may have, she will always be my baby girl forever.
I love you Luna!!
LIKES: Lalaloopsy, chocolate ice-cream with sprinkles, playing dress-up, ponies & kittens, pink, spaghetti, dancing in the middle of the room like no one is watching, chocolate milk, books, dresses, being my little assistant when it comes to cooking & baking, playing with her older brother, picking out her own clothes, cherry tomatoes, music.
Monday, April 8th, 2013
Over these past 8 years my children have taught me the amount of love that the heart can hold is endless and just when I am certain I couldn’t possibly love them more, they make my heart nearly explode. I have learned that once you have a child you are more vulnerable then you ever dreamed possible. On saturday Luna turned four. FOUR fantastic years old! I’m not sure how that is even possible. That’s when you know that life passes by quicker than you think. So, you know how my weekend pretty much went down. It was Luna’s weekend of sweets, balloons, cake, pizza & fun. Not only did she have fun but, we did too
Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013
Are you trying to eat more whole grains now a days? Keep trying if you aren’t. Grains provide a healthy boost of vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. But, are also rich in carbohydrates. The key when it comes to carbohydrates is to keep your portions moderate and to turn to whole-grain versions as often as you can. You’ll feel fuller longer, since whole-grains and fiber tale longer to digest.
One of my favorite grains is Farro. It has a satisfying chewy texture and nutty flavor and can be used in baked goods, salads and soups. Whats best of all is that its high in protein and fiber. The downside is that Farro can be rather expensive. If you can’t find a decent price, you can make a different but still-lovely (and definitely budget-friendly) version with wheat-berries or bulgur wheat instead.
I wanted to include in today’s post one of my family favorite farro recipes, that even my kids like. This recipe was adapted from Whole Foods Market.
(Please excuse my cell-phone photo)
*Farro with Italian sausage, spinach & mushrooms.
- 1 1/2 cup farro
- 3 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 3 links mild or sweet Italian sausage, removed from casings
- 1 cup chopped red onion
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 cups cremini or button mushrooms, halved or quartered
- 2 cups packed baby spinach
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 2 tablespoons chopped oregano
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Add farro and cook, stirring often, until fragrant and toasted, 4 to 5 minutes. Add broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is absorbed and farro is tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Meanwhile, heat remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage and cook, breaking it up into small chunks with a spatula, until almost cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes. Add onions and garlic and cook until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms, toss well and cook, stirring occasionally, until just softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove skillet from the heat and stir in spinach until wilted. Season with salt and pepper. Stir parsley, oregano, salt and pepper into pot with farro, then spoon onto plates. Top with sausage-mushroom mixture and serve.
Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013
March was such a busy month for me. Not only business wise but my personal life as well. This past month I thought a lot and I mean a LOT, about life in general. I think its because, I finally know what I exactly want to do and I am putting my heart and soul into it. So… I had to change up the ball game around my daily schedule, not only what works well for me but as well as my family. I have to admit its hard. Really HARD and overwhelming at times. I was destined to hit a rough patch at some point and it did sometime last month, and it hit me hard one day and I broke down. It was bound to happen. But, I picked myself up and told myself to Not think so hard and just start doing. Thinking to hard when your mind is all over the place, most of the time in the end will not give you the best results. Picking up a book, exercising and scouting around locations does help a lot and puts the mind to ease. Try it! (View Full Post…)
Monday, April 1st, 2013
This past weekend had me thinking a lot because, I am tired of excuses I make, anxious to do big things. Things are changing. I am going to stop looking at what I don’t have, give up all those excuses running around in my head and erase that fear, and be thankful for what I do have. Even through all of these struggles and fears I face, I’m actually still so glad I took the leap. Photography is my passion and yes, it has managed to make me take chances, push me to the limit. But, I need to realize not everything is going to be handed to me easy. You know that saying “Good things come to those who wait?” Well… in this industry I believe thats not the way it works. Its actually, “Good things come to those who work harder.”
Reasons you may ask why its taken me this long to get it together with my photography business you may ask yourself? I kept telling myself “I don’t have every single piece of gear I need.” Also I kept things to personal and worried if people would judge me for anything I ever posted. I know its stupid I felt this way and let it affect me and put a delay on my dream. I am going to admit to you that this will not be my resolution for this year but, a decision. A decision that will make me come out my shell for certain things and situations. To move forward on what is best for me, my family and business and stop thinking of what others think of me, because honestly who cares what others think? There will be people that will like my style of work as well as others that won’t, and I will be ok with that. (View Full Post…)